Despite cries from automakers producing EVs, it appears a major tax credit is on the verge of slipping away.
The electric car segment is still very much in its infancy despite federally funded efforts to push the technology, but young or not, that isn't stopping the federal government from pulling some of its financial support for the industry starting Saturday.
While the $7,500 federal tax credit associated with buying some electric vehicles isn't going away quite yet, USA Today reports that as of the close of 2011, a federal subsidy that allows for the deduction of 30 percent of the cost of electric car chargers (good for up to $30,000 in commercial cases) will be completely discontinued.
If that sounds like a lot, consider that in 2010 the deduction covered up to 50 percent of charger costs, before being reduced for 2011. For personal use, the deduction is good for up to $1,000 for the rest of the week, but after that all associated deductions will be gone.
"The timing of this couldn't be more unfortunate," said Genevieve Cullen, vice president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, a trade group that represents the electric-vehicle industry.
Cullen and others have been urging Congress to extend the tax deduction, possibly even retroactively if passed in early 2012 - but as of now it does not appear that Congress is serious about the reinstatement.
As of the close of November 2011, electric cars and plug-in hybrids made up less than two percent of all new car sales - so a change of this nature will likely have a minimal effect on the industry as a whole.
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